Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Two new BAT videos

This a mini BAT session for fear/barking that I did with some kids this morning. The video is on my iPhone, which has the opposite orientation of the program I use to process it, so it stretched Peanut out a bit.

Here are some highlights of that video:

  • At 0:27, he actually does a nice look away and retreats, and I didn’t notice, because I was fussing with the camera. I called him back and we ‘started’ our session, even though he was already starting without me. That’s the cool part about this method, that the dog can train himself after a while!
  • 0:36, 0:37, 0:39 he sees the triggers and we push on because we’re not quite at his threshold – we’re working on head turns and this is still a very easy distance.
  • 0:39, 0:46 I stop and he looks at me after only a tiny glance at the triggers (kids). I decide that’s not close enough, that he can handle more.
  • 0:49 Looks away from trigger, 0:50 big nose lick. I miss this. Another casualty of filming and walking at the same time.  This would’ve been a good place to stop.
  • 0:55, solid engagement with the kids, has enough time to look and see what they are up to, then turns to look at me. I mark with Good! and reward him by walking the other way with him, away from the kids. Note how fast he walks in that direction.
  • 1:10 – some calming touch. Not necessary, but it’s what Peanut and I do.
  • More aware of the kids now. I return to our same spot and do two more trials. During the walk-away on the 2nd trial, the kids follow us, and you’ll see him look back. I like trials 2 and 3 better than trial 1, because it seemed more directed at the environment, rather than an escape into mom’s eyes. I’m more than happy to be his anchor, I’m just glad when he doesn’t need it.

The second video is the use of the Premack Principle to practice heeling. Remember, BAT is not just for aggression & fear, but also for other problem behaviors maintained by the environment, like pulling. The point is to set the dog up to succeed, then reward with what they most want in the moment.

The Premack Principle states that the opportunity to perform a high probability behavior will reinforce the performance of a low-probability behavior. One way to think of that is that if your dog gets freedom to act like a dog as a reward for listening to you, you’ll get a better-trained dog (it’s broader than that, but it’s a good way to think of it). In the video, I have Peanut heel and he can chew his stick as a reward. I do this because he used to pull whenever he had a toy in is mouth, because he’d want to go enjoy it. Now he’ll trot along, waiting for permission to go chew.

This is now already a trained behavior, so I had him come with me and walk. But visualize smaller steps, like just coming with me as a rewardable behavior. In our real life, he can go quite a ways before I release him to go chew.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon] Tweet This Post!
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3 Responses to “Two new BAT videos”

  1. Jenny Ruth Yasi Says:

    Cute stuff! The one thing I notice from looking at the first clip, is the Peanut looks pretty excited, a bit anxious, so I guess that’s why you are training him around these triggers. But I wonder what would happen if you just had him lay down and lower his adrenaline a bit before letting him more closer or further from his trigger?

    But I like this game too! Great job! Just noting the excitement, and think I’d wouldn’t want to keep it like that, but would be aiming for ability to just lay down in one place and oberve from a distance. That seems easier than practicing relaxation while on the move, but maybe laying down at a distance is already easy for this dog.

  2. Grisha Says:

    Good thoughts. This was on a regular walk, we just happened to see the kids waiting outside the restaurant, so we did about 5 reps total, I think, and continued on. There is definitely value in getting full relaxation from a distance.

  3. Rachel Bowman Says:

    I’m a trainer out of southern california and have stumbled upon your site. I find your work and methods fascinating. My mother is a psychologist so I’ve always been curious about more in depth behavioral training. I’m curious if you’ve ever tried using BAT with a dog with separation anxiety. I currently have a client that just adopted a dog who was abandoned on a freeway and has pretty substantial freak outs whenever the owners leave. They’ve only had the dog a few weeks so he hasn’t really got any pre cursor triggers stored in his brain to worry about (I.e. Picking up keys or putting on jacket) so I was thinking BAT might actually work. I used your formula and created the following idea:
    Owner leaves —>dog chews up house (literally walls) —->owner comes home now I believe the wanted forumla would be owner leaves —>dog sleeps —-> owner returns. Now to put this into motion I figured the owners could ask the dog to down, then stay and proceed to walk out the door then click and re-enter. Then the owner would repeat but wait an extra second and so on until they could leave for a good amount of time. Does it sound like I’m on the right page here or way off? Thank you can’t wait to hear from you.

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